Tips to Prevent Your Pup from Misbehaving in Public Spaces

More and more restaurants, workspaces, and other public areas are shifting toward a dog-friendly mentality. Of course, if you want to bring your pup to a communal area, it’s important to ensure that they are well-behaved and suited for it. While some dogs simply prefer staying at home, many canines can be trained to conduct themselves in a friendly and social manner. Try these tips and soon you and your four-legged best friend can relax on patios and attend outdoor events together before you know it.


The Tenets for Dog Training


Whether you are training your dog to do a few obedience commands or if you two are on the path to agility courses, below are a few tenets everyone can use as a foundation for influencing dog behavior.


● Training should be fun for both you and your pup.

● Good behavior is always reinforced.

● Sessions don’t need to last for more than 15 minutes.

● The trainer should always be consistent.

● You are your dog’s alpha.


When you make the training fun, your dog is more likely to learn and adhere to the commands you give them. Pups also have short attention spans, so a long training session isn’t going to do them much good. Once you’re done learning for the day, treat your dog to a walk, a game of fetch, or some other activity they love -- it’s another form of positive reinforcement. Your secret weapons when it comes to training are a pocket full of treats and plenty of praise. When your dog picks up a command and behaves well, showing them approval with a treat and a praise helps ensure they do it again and again. Of course, if you want your dog to be consistent, you have to show them how. Changing up the game in the middle of play will only confuse a dog. Finally, always remember that you are supposed to be your dog’s alpha or pack leader. If you approach training with that alpha confidence, your dog will follow.


Dog Walking Basics and Safety


If you are taking your pup to a public place, they need to be on a leash. Leash training comes naturally for some dogs, but others have trouble grasping the limitations that come with it. This is just one of the reasons to avoid using retractable leashes. Because they get longer and shorter at your whim, the boundaries are not fully established, which confuses your dog. When walking your dog, be wary of approaching other pups in public. Keep your body relaxed and ask the other walker if it is okay for your two dogs to meet. If the other dog has aggression issues, they will likely say no. However, it is also your responsibility to monitor the dogs’ behavior and make an informed decision about whether the two will get along.


Meeting Your Dog’s Essential Needs


If your dog needs to do their business, walk them away from people and manicured lawns. It is rude to let your dog go in front of people, and you may offend someone by letting them go on very manicured grass. It is better to find a secluded and shaded area, let them go, and clean it up completely before throwing it away. Remember: always clean up after your pooch. Dog feces contain harmful microorganisms that can infect the water supply, other dogs, and people.


Beyond that particular need, your dog should also always have a fresh supply of water. While some dog-friendly restaurants will have their own water bowls for dogs, you can’t count on it. It’s best to invest in a portable bowl that you keep with your dog’s poop bags, leash, and training treats. Making sure your companion stays hydrated can help prevent heat stroke in dogs.


While more and more businesses are becoming dog-friendly, it is always up to the owner to ensure their pup is on their best behavior. Help your dog learn basic obedience commands and gain their trust as an alpha. When walking your dog, be cautious when approaching other dogs and avoid retractable leashes. Be respectful of other people’s space, and carry a water bowl with you so your dog stays properly hydrated. 

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Raising A Friendly Canine Neighbor

Photo credit by Pixabay

Most dog owners want their neighbors to be friends with their dog but many get off on the wrong foot. That can end the relationship before it begins. However, there are steps you can take to help your dog be a good neighbor.


Safety First

Keeping your neighbors is safe is one of the most important rules of dog etiquette. You want to make sure that your new dog does not run all over the neighborhood or scare the local kids. Here are tips that can help:


* Setting Boundaries.

Your dog should be leashed whenever he is away from home. You should also restrain him if he is growling or looks set to jump or pounce. Finally, it’s a good idea to fence in your yard to protect your dog from running into the neighbor’s yard. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs around $1,643 - $3,857 to install a fence – a good investment to keep your neighbors happy!


* Safety With Visitors.

When your dog is home and multiple guests are visiting, make sure you create boundaries for him there too. You can keep him in the yard, crate him,

or set up a gate to keep him inside a certain area. Follow this rule if you have any new guests whom your dog has not met .

* Obedience Training. 

For puppies and dogs that are not too old, obedience training can be a good option. This will make your life much simpler, too, as an obedient dog is calmer and easier to manage.


* Don’t Overstimulate Your Dog’s Senses

Dogs can be sensitive to extreme sounds, sights, temperatures, and more. When possible, keep your dog away from loud, scary noises or bright, flashing lights, such as fireworks. Also be sure that he doesn’t overheat in warm weather. Keep his coat neatly groomed and have plenty of water on hand. Read the ASPCA’s article on keeping your pet safe during the summer.


* Spay Or Neuter Your Dog. 

This can help reduce aggressive behaviors. Check out this page of questions and answers on spaying or neutering your puppy from American Kennel Club.


For more tips, the American Humane Society features a page about socializing your dog at any age.


Introductions

Once you think your dog is ready, you can introduce him to your neighbors. This may take time – and that’s ok! You should be aware of how your neighbor feels about dogs and/or pets in general. Have they had a traumatic experience? Are they afraid? Do they want to get to know your dog?


If your neighbor has children, those introductions should be separate if there is any trepidation on his part. You want to make sure he is comfortable first.


Next, make sure your neighbor knows your dog’s habits. Tell him what triggers your pet. If he is new to dogs altogether, teach him a few basics things about how dogs interact: how they sniff, what they see as threatening, etc. Your dog should not be barking, snipping, or rearing. If so, you might want to postpone introductions for another time. Additionally, do not set out to introduce your dog to others if he is sick or medicated. It may lead to unpredictable behavior.


Read WikiHow’s step by step article on how to introduction your dog to your neighbors.


Solving Your Dog’s Problems

Dogs can present numerous problems that may upset your neighbors, including:

* Growling

* Snapping

* Chewing

* Peeing where it’s not allowed

* Barking through the night

Each behavior has a cause so you, or you and your vet, must determine what that is. Some are relatively simple to understand. For example, excessive chewing in a puppy may mean he is teething. The Spruce’s article on problematic dog behaviors can help you determine how to fix a number of different issues.


Teaching your dog proper etiquette around people is not difficult. He can become friends with your neighbor if you take the time to plan your introduction well and minimize problems.

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